One of the most common questions I ask at networking events is “So, Ms. Business Owner, why do your customers buy from you instead of your competition?” And one of the most common answers is “Our great service.” The problem with this answer is that it barely means anything – nobody remembers what good service really is anymore. So let’s look at the 3 Levels of Service that exist in the marketplace.
Expected – This level of service is the bare minimum standard for even being in business. While you may be delivering your customer service well, you aren’t doing a single thing that distinguishes you from anyone else. Your customers have a certain minimum expectation for customer service in your industry and you meet it. Your customers don’t complain about your service, but they most certainly don’t tell anyone about it either. All it takes is one slip to result in dissatisfied customers. Examples of expected levels of service are: Being on time, Being prepared, and Solving their immediate problem.
Appreciated – At this level, you are serving your customers in little ways that are above and beyond the minimum expectations. You are now in the running to compete for clients based on these increments of good service that give you an opportunity for a little edge every now and then. Failure to deliver once in a while is not a mark against you, but they still remember. Examples of Appreciated levels of service are: Remembering their name and birthday, Providing them with referrals to get other needs met, and Celebrating their wins when you hear about them.
Distinguished – This level is the true world-class level of service that so many people think they provide, without really knowing what that idea even means. At this level, you are providing the unexpected, the unanticipated, the “Wow I can’t believe you did that for me.” Examples of Distinguished levels of service are: Putting their name in lights (literally or figuratively), Remembering all their personal information (favorite products, beverages, snacks, their spouses’ names, their kids’ names, etc.), Client appreciation events, and Monthly personal touches.
Businesses providing Distinguished levels of service can charge a premium over those that don’t. What would Your customers pay for a Distinguished experience? How much extra business would they bring you?
When you are ready to be Distinguished, give us a call so we can help you define and implement your new amazing level of Customer Service.
Author: Mark McNulty, Business Coach in Louisville, KY[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]